Meghan Markle Just Won Her Lawsuit Against the Tabloids, Here’s What That Means

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex have had a hard time with the press over the last few years. The paparazzi have invaded their privacy and taken pictures of their son, Archie on private property, followed them from the U.K. to their new home in America, and published private letters of Meghan’s. In response, Meghan sued Associated Newspapers, the parent company of Mail on Sunday, for publishing her letters. Now, she has won the suit.

Meghan Markle arrives at the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary
Meghan Markle | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Meghan Markle’s lawsuit

In Oct. of 2019, Harry announced that he and Meghan were suing Mail on Sunday.

“As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting,” he wrote in a statement. “We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more.”

He went on to express how Meghan had become the victim of ruthless media campaigns against her.

“It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making,” he said. “The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.

Meghan Markle wins her lawsuit

Mail on Sunday published private letters that Meghan had written her father, Thomas Markle, after her wedding to Prince Harry.

Judge Mark Warby ruled that Meghan “had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private,” and the articles “interfered with that reasonable expectation.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Rosa Woods – Pool/Getty Images

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“Taken as a whole the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful,” he wrote. “There is no prospect that a different judgment would be reached after a trial.”

He also said that copying the letter infringed on Meghan’s copywrite.

Warby said the electronic letter “would inevitably be held to be the product of intellectual creativity sufficient to render it original in the relevant sense and to confer copyright on its author or authors.”

According to a spokesperson for Associated Newspapers, Meghan’s fight may still not be over.

“We are carefully considering the judgment’s contents and will decide in due course whether to lodge an appeal,” the spokesperson said, according to NBC News.

Meghan Markle’s statement

Since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from their royal duties, they have been interacting with the press much less. But after her ruling, Meghan gave a statement addressing her victory.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand in the rain outside The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/WireImage

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“After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and The Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanizing practices,” she wrote.

“These tactics (and those of their sister publications MailOnline and the Daily Mail) are not new; in fact, they’ve been going on for far too long without consequence,” she continued. “For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.